How Much Does it Cost to Retire to Thailand?

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Although everyone wants to retire in a sun drenched tropical country, the overriding question we are asked by retirees is ‘How much does it cost to retire in Thailand?’ And the first answer would be that it depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to live.

Retiring abroad in somewhere like Thailand is simply a pipe dream to some but is easily obtainable if you know the lay of the land and how much the general costs of retiring in the Kingdom or any other country.

Thailand is a popular retirement destination mainly due to the all-year-round hot climate, generally affordable living costs and access to major tourist destinations that have fantastic beaches, top-notch restaurants and cuisine options, and a perpetual holiday atmosphere.

Although the currency exchange prices between Thailand and Western world nations have become closer in recent years, Thailand still has some of the lowest living costs in the world, and when you couple that together with the holiday style amenities, and it doesn’t get much better.

Back in 2016, a company called International Living published a report that Thailand was in the top 6 places to retire in a four-way tie with Ecuador, Malaysia and Vietnam. So, How much does it cost to retire in Thailand? Let us help you to understand the costs of retiring in Thailand so you can make a well-guided and calculated choice.

Good Starting Point

How much does it cost to retire in Thailand? We want to start this by saying that exchange rates change and we are not responsible for the prices being slightly different by the time you read this. However, this is a great reference point to understanding how much does it cost to retire in Thailand.

You will need to ensure you meet the financial requirements of obtaining a retirement visa, which are having 65,000 THB per month (1,800 Euro, 1,580 GBP, 2,079 USD) going into your Thai bank account, or an annual total of 800,000 THB ($25,800 USD). Since the new visa rules have come into play, the money needs to be in your Thai bank account as opposed to sitting in a savings account in your home country. You can find out more about the Thai visa rules by visiting Visa application update here.

In terms of calculating the living costs of retiring in Thailand, it massively depends on where you live in Thailand. For example, a retired couple would have a much more comfortable lifestyle on $1,500 to $2,000 per month living costs by living in somewhere such as Chiang Mai or Pattaya than they would living somewhere that is more expensive such as Bangkok, Phuket or Koh Samui.

Let’s delve into this a little bit more in the next section.

Retiring in Thailand on a Budget

Although $2,000 (63,000 THB) per month for living costs is a solid starting point, it is very possible to get by in Thailand on much less. In places such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai, you can rent a condo for as little as $200 to $300 (6,000 THB to 10,000 THB) a month close to international style restaurants and amenities.

If you rented one those apartments, which are still very nice and modern, didn’t have any medical insurance and eat Thai food most days with Western food sometimes, you could easily retire in Thailand on $1,000 per month or even less. However, we wouldn’t recommend you retire in Thailand without health insurance coverage.

In reality, you don’t want to retire in Thailand to live like that penny pinching life all the time, although it is totally possible. We would recommend that a bare minimum for living costs in Thailand should be closer to $1,200 to $1,500 per month.

Living it Large in Thailand

Now, if you were working with $5,000 per month for living costs, you could really push out the boat and live an extremely comfortable lifestyle. With this kind of monthly cost money, you could rent a stylish 2-bed house in the heart of Bangkok or in beach areas across Thailand.

Having this kind of money for monthly costs would allow you to eat out at international restaurants every day, enjoy regular nights out, employ a housecleaner and enjoy all the modern trappings of a luxury life. $5,000 per month really does go a long way in Thailand.

Getting Healthcare When Retiring in Thailand

One of the things that retirees tend to overlook when trying to figure out how much does it cost to retire to Thailand is health insurance. This is especially true of those from Northern Europe who have spent a lifetime in their home countries with decent quality free medical services in places such as Scandinavia and the UK.

We would suggest that health insurance is extremely important for retirees and can be very costly for the over 60s. If you get sick in Thailand and are unconscious when found, you could wind up in an international hospital without realizing it, and if you don’t have medical coverage, you can end up with medical fees that will make your toes curl and could end up costing $10,000 or upwards. It happens on a regular basis.

Health insurance can cost as little or as much as you are willing to pay, but that will also decide how much you are covered for. You can pay as little as $100 per month for health insurance, but that will not cover very much. It’s up to you decide the health insurance plan you want or can fit into your budget.

For more information check out Health Insurance in Thailand

Stretching Dollars by Living Like a Local

If you want to keep your costs down to bare minimum, we would suggest that you live like a local most days and then splash out when you need to or when your budget allows. You can buy great Thai food rice and noodle dishes for as little as $1 per dish. There is a cacophony of Thai markets where you can buy locally grown vegetable produce and meats and cook at home. It’s what we do on a daily basis in the West, right? So that shouldn’t be a problem if you are willing to live that way.

Find smaller apartments in places such as Pattaya where the accommodation prices are competitive. Cutting back by stretching your dollars is not a bad way to live in Thailand because the weather is so favorable and the living expenses so affordable.

The Bottom Line of Retiring in Thailand

Thailand is a great place to retire whether you are on a tight or large budget. Places such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai have massive foreign expat communities, so you will find friends in no time. Just remember, it’s all about your budget and the lifestyle you choose for retirement. Make the smart choices that suit your requirements. Do not live beyond your budget.

We hope this article provided some insight for your search on “How much does it cost to retire to Thailand.” If you need any further help please reach out to us on our contact us page.

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